Haley Rosenthal Pursuing Her Dreams in New York City Against All Odds

At the age of 16, half-way through her junior year of high school, she nearly died from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, a rare disease she got due to what she believes was caused by medical negligence. (SJS/TENS for short.) This affects your mucosal membranes and makes your body burn from the inside out.  She had 3rd degree burns on 90% of her body and had severe corneal damage. The doctors told her mother to say her goodbyes.  During her treatment she was told she “wouldn’t be able to perform again due to this.” Instead of accepting what the doctors said, she looked at them and said, “Watch me.”

“No matter how much excruciating pain I was in, I would always find a way to smile and make everyone around me smile.” To this day, Rosenthal wears a PROSE device (prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem) and constantly uses eye-drops to keep her eyes moisturized because her tear ducts didn’t work anymore.

Living in Sarasota, FL, she constantly had to travel to Boston, Miami, and Tampa for the best possible treatment.   

Doctors didn’t think she would graduate high school on time or be well enough to attend college. More importantly they told her that she couldn’t be a performer and that she would need to rethink her life’s path.  

But that never stopped her from working towards her dreams. “I reached deep inside myself and found my strength that I never knew I had before.  I knew what I was doing wasn’t just for me, it was for everyone that was ever told they can’t and that they need to give up on their dreams.”

Rosenthal ended up graduating high school on time with honors, was admitted to one of the top Musical Theatre programs in the country, Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a talent scholarship, and began writing and releasing music when she got to college.  

“When people think of me, I don’t want them to think of me as an SJS survivor. I’m so much more than that and what I’ve been through doesn’t define who I am as a human being.” “Tic Tac Toe” is the newest release by this driven artist and is already receiving positive feedback from her peers and industry insiders.

Follow Rosenthal on Instagram to learn more.

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